Can your competitor damage your Google rankings? Yes, and the technique is called negative SEO. Here is more on this menace and also the methods to protect your website from negative SEO.
SEO ranking is becoming a tough fight. Marketers are constantly evolving their strategies to fine-tune their website to the Google algorithm updates. So, how do you bag the front page of Google? Keyword stuffing and other black hat SEO techniques might get your site blacklisted. The result is a new kind of shady SEO technique called negative SEO.
The threat of negative SEO is real. Every business should be aware of it and take measures to counter such attacks from competitors. Prevention is better than cure.
Continue reading to understand more about negative SEO.
What is negative SEO?
Negative SEO refers to a group of techniques that aim to lower the competitor’s rankings. It involves bombarding a website with black hat techniques and hurt the credibility of the website resulting in a drop in its search engine rankings.
The common negative SEO tactics include:
- Building tons of spammy backlinks
- Copy the content and publishing it elsewhere to make it duplicate
- Pointing links with keywords used in porn and gambling sites
- Ruining the online reputation using fake social media profiles
How to defend a negative SEO attack from your competitors?
Ensure that the following checks are in place on your website.
- Email alerts of Google Webmaster tools
Google sends email alerts whenever your website is attacked by malware or when there is a server connectivity issue. It also sends alerts if your pages are not getting indexed or if you receive a penalty from Google. So connect to Google Webmaster Tools and enable email notifications. Set the option to receive alerts for all issues.
- Monitor your backlinks
The common technique in negative SEO is building spammy backlinks or redirects. It is important to be alert against this tactic. You can use tools like Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, or Monitorbacklinks.com to check such actions on your website. If you notice spammy backlinks to your site take counter measures immediately.
- Secure the best backlinks
Many spammers attempt to manipulate your quality backlinks. They do this by usurping your identity and contacting the website owner with a request to remove the backlink. You can take many steps to prevent this. Always use the email address in your domain while communicating to webmasters. This will discourage competitors from faking your identity. Another precaution is to track your quality backlinks and tag them. Keep a close watch on these backlinks and monitor for any status changes.
- Protect the website from hackers and malware attacks
The next step is to secure your website from hackers. For a WordPress website, you can install Google Authenticator Plugin with 2-step verification. The password must be strong consisting of special characters and numbers. Install antivirus to avoid the risk of malware while users upload files to your website. There has to be a regular backup of your database to minimize the risk of corruption and data loss.
- Eliminate content duplication
Spammers try to lower your rankings through content duplication. They duplicate your content in many places on the web leading to Google penalties and loss of rankings. Before you upload content check for duplication using reliable tools like Copyscape. Regularly check your website content for duplication and make the required corrections.
- Monitor your website speed
If there is a sudden drop in website speed, it could be because spammers are bombarding your server with thousands of requests. Create an email alert to get a notification when your server is down. Act fast to stop the spammers by contacting the hosting support company.
- Keep track of your social media mentions
Another negative SEO tactic is to create fake social media accounts in the name of your company. Monitor such activities and take immediate action by reporting these profiles as spam.
Wrapping it up
Negative SEO is a reality. Achieving high rankings require months of patience and you do not want your competitors to pull you down through negative SEO tactics. The above steps can safeguard your website to a large extent from such attacks. It is also important to take immediate preventive measures if you notice negative SEO activities on your website.
SBL can support your end-to-end SEO requirements. Our services also include preventive measures to check the negative SEO attacks on your website. In case of such occurrences, we work with you closely to reduce the impact, regain the rankings, and prevent further negative SEO activities on your website. Get in touch with our digital marketing team to know more about our negative SEO services.